It doesn’t take an NFL expert, or say, one of the best NFL safeties of all time, to note that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is mediocre at best. But when that great safety is Flacco’s own teammate? He’s probably better off keeping that opinion to himself.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, he didn’t, as Ed Reed told Sirius NFL Radio that he didn’t like what he saw out of Flacco against the Texans on Sunday.
“They had a lot of guys in the box on him and they were giving it to him,” Reed said, as quoted by The Baltimore Sun. “I think a couple of times he needed to get rid of the ball. It just didn’t look like he had a hold on the offense. I don’t know how much of [that was] the play calling … but it just didn’t look like he had a hold on the offense, you know, of times past. It was just kind of like they [were] telling him [what] to do — throw the ball or get it here, you know, get it to certain guys.”
Reed, 33 years old and a veteran of 10 NFL seasons, said that type of play won’t cut it against the Patriots, who had the 31st-ranked passing defense and the second-worst passing defense in the history of the league.
“He can’t play like that,” Reed said. “One specific play that sticks out to me was when Ray Rice came out and got pushed out of the backfield and [Flacco] still threw him the ball and he had Torrey Smith [open] on the outside. I can see that sitting on the sideline or sitting in the stands. You don’t know what someone else is seeing.”
Flacco, who turned 27 on Monday, has an impressive 5-3 record in the playoffs, but the impressive numbers end there. In those eight games, his average stat line looks like this: 14-for-26 (53.8 percent), 153 yards, 0.75 TDs, 0.88 INTs.
Against Tom Brady – whose playoff averages are 23-for-36 (63.8 percent), 239 yards, 4 TDs, 0.85 INTs and is coming off a six-touchdown performance in the divisional round — Flacco will likely need to be a whole lot better.
There are many who doubt the Ravens’ signal-caller will be able to answer that challenge. At least one teammate can be counted among them.
Should the safety be critiquing the quarterback before a playoff game? Is this some sort of wild motivational tactic or just plain stupidity?
“We want leadership. Leadership is important. We want strong leadership, and we want someone who shares his vision in this new era of Colts football. We want the best man and the best leader and the man that gives us the best way to go.”
–Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, on who he wants to replace the almost-always silent Jim Caldwell as head coach
First, Shawn Thornton scores on a penalty shot, then the next week, Daniel Paille looks like a superstar with a backhand goal on a breakaway. What’s going on?
While Joe Flacco is worried about impressing his teammates, Tom Brady will be worried about keeping his pants dry.